BLUE KNIGHTS PERCUSSION ENSEMBLE ANNOUCE SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENTS

Congratulations to the following Percussion Ensemble members who were awarded the following scholarships!

 


Sean Yates 

2021 Keith Nygaard Memorial

Sean Yates received the Keith Nygaard Memorial Scholarship for 2021. Sean, a bass drummer,  has been a member of the Blue Knights Percussion Ensemble from 2017 to 2021. 

The Keith Nygaard Memorial Scholarship was established in the fall of 2016 to honor the legacy of late Keith Nygaard, “an incredible musician who brought so much joy to this world by inspiring hundreds of young marching musicians to follow their dreams.”

Keith was from Colorado Springs, Colorado, a member of the Doherty High School marching band where he led young new musicians in the art of marching music. He continued his passion as a performer for the Blue Knights Percussion Ensemble, a world-class performing arts ensemble, in 2012 and aged out in 2015. Keith was a student at the Colorado School of Mines where he majored in Electrical Engineering with a minor in Computer Science.



Amber Lawton 

2021 Renaissance Scholarship 

 

Amber Lawton was awarded the Renaissance Scholarship for 2021. Amber marched with Altitude Percussion in 2016 and 2017, and with the Blue Knights Percussion Ensemble in the cymbal line, in 2018 to 2021. Amber also has a history with marching cymbals with the Battalion Drum & Bugle Corps in 2017 and Pacific Crest in 2019. 

Renaissance, in this instance, refers to many talents. There are members in the Percussion Ensemble who made commitments to march in a Drum Corps International sanctioned ensemble for the 2019 season since the 2020 season was canceled. This scholarship’s goal is to help members who request financial assistance who, having marched in a sanctioned corps, left little or no time for employees to raise funds. The donor for this scholarship wants to remain anonymous but is aware of the hard work and time commitment individuals need to dedicate to perform their best.  The donor hopes that the scholarship aid will remove the pressure to pay fees and give members the time to prepare for their respective ensembles’ shows.


Salome Castro

2021 Alumni Scholarship

 

The Alumni Scholarship was awarded to Salome Castro. She marched with Rise 2 Percussion in 2019 and was accepted in 2020, 2021 Blue Knights Percussion Ensemble, Rack.

This Blue Knights Alumni Scholarship was established by the Alumni Association in 2017, which includes alumni from the Blue Knights Drum Corps and Percussion Ensemble programs.  Alumni members have sponsored fundraisers so that future members of Ascend Performing Arts Ensembles, in need of financial assistance, would be able to have an education for life whether they are members of the drum corps or the percussion ensemble.

 

CONGRATULATIONS TO SEAN, AMBER AND SALOME!

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Ken Adams

KEN ADAMS

Mark Arnold is one of the longest-serving Directors in Drum Corps International, serving as Executive Director of the Blue Knights Drum & Bugle Corps since 1985 and as CEO of Ascend Performing Arts since 2010.

Under his leadership the Blue Knights organization has developed into one of the premier Drum and Bugle Corps in the history of the activity, recognized Internationally for excellence and innovation in the performing arts. Through the years the Blue Knights has expanded its programing and now serves thousands of young musicians and performers annually in multiple performing ensembles, events and educational programs under the umbrella of the Ascend Performing Arts.

In addition to shaping the course of Ascend Performing Arts, Mark also has played an integral role in the ongoing development and successes of Drum Corps International as a collective. He served as chairman of the DCI Board of Directors in 1994 and again from 2008 to 2013. Mark was honored as Corps Director of the Year in 2004, and was the inaugural recipient of the George Bonfiglio Chairman’s Award at the 2012 DCI World Championships, which is given to an individual each year who demonstrates extraordinary leadership and service on behalf of DCI and its performing drum corps.  Mark was inducted into the DCI Hall of Fame in 2014 and the Blue Knights Hall of Fame in 2019.

Prior to his position with the Blue Knights, Mark was the Assistant Director of the Troopers Drum and Bugle Corps from 1978 through 1983, serving alongside Director Jim Jones, one of the founders of Drum Corps International and an inaugural member of the DCI Hall of Fame.  Mr. Arnold has a degree in Music Education from the University of Wyoming and taught High School Music in Wyoming and Nebraska from 1979 through 1985.
Mark Arnold

MARK ARNOLD

Scott Factor has served on the Ascend Performing Arts Board from 2012 to 2018 as a voting member in various positions including Vice-Chairman. Since 2019 my role has been in an Advisory position.

Outside of Ascend Performing Arts i am Senior Account Executive for Baxter HealthCare.
Scott Factor

SCOTT FACTOR

I am currently an Ascend Board Member-at-Large.  I have been a volunteer with the Blue Knights since 2013.  I have been serving on the BoD since 2019.  I retired from the United States Postal Service in 2010.  Although I have never marched drum corps I am an avid fan of the activity and thoroughly support our members in any way that I can.  “We Go On”!!! 

Neil Corvino

NEIL CORVINO

Board member Kathy Black is an attorney in New Mexico practicing as a full-time litigator focused on employment and civil rights defense. She came to the law as a second career after twenty-five years in high tech with NCR Corporation, doing everything from operating systems programming to Vice President positions in engineering, customer services, and sales. She earned her JD from Lewis & Clark Law School and her BA from the University of Colorado, Boulder. Ms. Black is active as a percussionist in the Albuquerque area. Way back in 1978 she marched with the Guardsmen, including at DCI Finals in Denver.  After many years of being just a drum corps fan, she was elected to the Drum Corps International Board of Directors in January 2016 and served on that board until January 2022, including three years as chair. 

Kathy Black

KATHY BLACK

Bryant’s path to the Ascend Board of Directors, which began in 2021 as a member-at-large, traces back to his childhood. Watching the Reading Buccaneers senior drum corps practice near his grandparents’ home ignited a lifelong passion, and a student of all thing’s percussion.

Years later a family move to Colorado provided Bryant with a platform to display his passion, both on the stage with the nationally acclaimed Green Earth Percussion Ensemble and on the field as a snare drummer with the Blue Knights Drum & Bugle Corps until his age-out year in 1984.

In his professional career as the Senior Director of Strategic Accounts at Yokohama Tire Co., Bryant credits the principles instilled by the marching arts and years on tour for his success. On a personal level, the arts played an even larger role, where Bryant met his wife, Stephanie. The Rankin’s currently make their home in South Carolina, enjoying time with their grown children, two incredible grandchildren, and their beloved brown lab, Zoey.
Bryant Rankin

BRYANT RANKIN

Retired, Director, Office of Research and Analysis, Colorado Department of Revenue Ms. Archibeque served 26 years in the area of statistical analysis for the Colorado Department of Revenue and Colorado Department of Labor and Employment. Her skills in this area assist the board in developing a strategy for statistical analysis in the area of program evaluation. She has also been a significant volunteer managing and working with volunteers for the organization and will assist the board in understanding the complex nature of the organization. Her personal experiences as a minority and female can inform and promote a more inclusive environment and agenda for the projects that the board supports.

Janet Archibeque

JANET ARCHIBEQUE

Rob Batchelder was appointed to the Ascend Performing Arts Board of Directors in May 2023, and currently serves as Vice Chair. As a member of the Senior Foreign Service, Rob has represented the United States overseas in India, Poland, Germany, Argentina, Nicaragua, Jamaica, and Namibia during a diplomatic career spanning nearly 30 years. He currently serves as Managing Director for Visa Services in the State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs in Washington, DC. Rob marched in the Blue Knights hornline in 1987 and 1988, and he was Drum Major in 1989. He and his family live in Alexandria, Virginia, but his heart still yearns for Colorado.

Rob Batchelder

Rob BATCHELDER